With the Indians hosting the Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series on the same night that the Cavaliers hoisted their championship banner while opening their season against the Knicks, the Cleveland sports scene has arguably never been more alive. So what better place for the Deadman to turn up?
If that didn’t make a ton of sense, well, plenty of folks were probably also confused to see WWE superstar The Undertaker hanging around the Cavs’ locker room before their season opener Tuesday. But there’s actually a perfectly reasonable, if disappointingly non-ghoulish, reason.
During Cleveland’s run to the 2015-16 NBA title, giving the city its first major pro sports championship in 52 years, the team drew inspiration from the WWE, and none other than LeBron James was seen wearing an Undertaker shirt. The Cavs even had their own version of a WWE championship belt custom-made, and players such as Kevin Love showed it off.
So with the Cavs having undertaken (ahem) a championship journey that also paid homage to a certain pro wrestling icon, it made sense for him to return the favor at Quicken Loans Arena. The Undertaker was accompanied by his wife, former WWE star Michelle McCool, and Dana Warrior, widow of the Ultimate Warrior, another wrestling legend who died in 2014 and whose likeness was on a T-shirt James wore when he and his teammates brought the trophy back to Cleveland (after dethroning the Warriors, it should be noted).
Several players, including Love, James Jones and Chris “Birdman” Andersen, came out to greet Undertaker and his companions. Warrior presented Love with a championship belt, while some online noted that, while the WWE lists Undertaker at 6-10, the 6-8 Jones appeared to be the taller of the two. Wait, could that mean that the WWE exaggerates things?
As of this writing, it remained to be seen if the 51-year-old Undertaker (real name: Mark Calaway) took part in any pregame ceremonies on the arena floor. This post will update with any more Deadman doings.
(H/T CBS Sports)